Born in Wolverhampton in 1883, Fred Pentland played for Blackpool, Blackburn Rovers and Middlesbrough. He played five times for England in 1909. He retired in 1914 and went to Berlin as coach of the Germany Olympic Games team; but the First World War began and he was sent to an internment camp at Ruhleben, near Berlin. Other English footballers were interned there, including his former team-mate Steve Bloomer. They organised many football matches for the prisoners.
In 1919 Pentland was hired by AS Strasbourg; he then coached the France team at the 1920 Olympics. Afterwards, he went to Spain, where he was a successful coach with Racing Santander, Atletico Madrid and, above all, Athletic Bilbao. Fred’s second spell at Bilbao from 1929 was the peak of his coaching career, winning two La Liga titles in 1930 and 1931, and the Copa del Rey four years running. He left Spain in 1936 when the Spanish Civil War began. He died in 1962.
Fred Pentland remains one of the great names in the history of Athletic Bilbao. The club has maintained strong links with the “English style” ever since. Howard Kendall, championship-winning manager of Everton in the 1980s, managed at Bilbao from 1987 to 1989.
Educators could look at the life story of Fred Pentland and work with young people to consider these questions:
- How could football tactics be appreciated as part of a history of ideas?
- What does Fred Pentland’s life tell us about the role of migration in the early 20th century?
England international footballer Frederick Beaconsfield Pentland.
LIFE STORIES To discover now
Do you wanna know more?
HISTORY CAN BE EXPLORED THROUGH THE LIVES OF INDIVIDUALS
Browse our collection of stories about football history and inclusion. With the history of football being made up of millions of stories, of individuals and communities, of movements and processes, we offer stories that can inspire our cultural conversations today.
Get to know untold stories where individuals are making history with football. When faced with insurmountable challenges, individuals past and present can use football as a cultural force to foster positive change in society. We honour these individuals and tell their ‘untold’ stories in short videos.
Explore our innovative educational resources that use football’s history, heritage and legacy to engage young people. The resources include ready-made lesson plans and historical source collections for school history education as well as toolkit with activities for non-formal settings.
In the wake of the 2015 migration peak, activists and volunteers across Europe have been involved in supporting refugees, sometimes with the simple act of offering space and friendship to participate in football through grassroots clubs to help newcomers integrate.
BBC Sport’s Football Focus visits Bundesliga side FC Union Berlin, a “rebellious” football club from East Berlin with a special set of fans, playing their first season in Germany’s top flight 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
LATEST POST You may also be interested in
A class of high school history students in Oslo was asked to create an ideal starting XI line-up based on Human Rights. Find out why and how it went.
A loving fan and musician put together his two passions and created this compilation of tunes from the Jazz Age.
Prayer days on stadiums, faith rooms and inclusive chants: here is how English football is adapting to a changing world.
Engage young people through Football Makes History’s own Guidebook and Toolkit for promoting social inclusion in formal education or Non-formal settings
Telling the history of a city through football stories: a celebration of Amsterdam.